Recently, a few of my Facebook friends have been sharing the image you see at the beginning of this article. As you likely know, an increasing number of women have been coming forward declaring that Donald Trump has sexually assaulted them.
Now, are these women telling the truth or it is simply an attempt for them to gain some notoriety and hurt Trump’s campaign for president? The short answer is that I don’t know. Neither do you.
Is it true that sexual assault occurs? Of course! Is it also true that some people fabricate stories in the hopes of becoming famous or tarnishing the reputation of others? Again, yes.
However, this photo dismisses the claim of the woman on the right using the following logic. Donald Trump is married to an attractive woman (as pictured on the left), therefore, why in the world would he sexually assault a woman society would consider far less attractive? She must be lying!
This is a horrifying rationalization and one that I hope all decent people would reject regardless of their opinion of Donald Trump and his candidacy for president.
From what I’ve read, sexual assault isn’t so much about sex but rather an expression of power. Abusers enjoy the thrill of dominating another person, especially the unwilling and imposing themselves on others. It isn’t about two people sharing each others’ company and expressing this mutual affection physically, but one person asserting themselves as a dominate party, despite the wishes of the other. It is an ugly reflection of a badly damaged soul.
When I was an undergrad at William & Mary, I was informed that one of my fellow students and political associates was sexually assaulted. Never once did I ask myself, is she pretty enough to be assaulted? Is her story believable based on her physical appearance? No, this thought never entered my mind because it is absolutely monstrous.
Imagine, if you will, that a friend, neighbor, or perhaps even your own daughter came to you and confessed that she had been sexually assaulted by some rich and powerful individual. Would you dismiss the claim out of hand declaring, “Honey, I’m sorry, but you just aren’t attractive enough to be assaulted. This man you are accusing could do so much better than you.”
Along those same lines, what if this kind of defense could be used in a court of law? Regardless of the merits of evidence, a person could be acquitted simply on the basis that the supposed victim isn’t attractive enough to be sexually assaulted. What a horrible perversion of justice that would be!
Now, we know from a recent audio recording that Donald Trump has bragged about sexually assaulting women. And no, that should never be considered mere “locker room talk”. Sexual assault is a serious violation of a person’s rights and it shouldn’t be swept under the rug simply because the person doing the assaulting is rich and/or powerful. Everyone should have equal rights and equal dignity under the law.
I’m not saying that these recent allegations of sexual assault against Donald Trump are true or false or that some are true and others are false. Again, I don’t know and, chances are, you don’t know either. However, to dismiss claims of sexual assault based upon the appearance of the supposed victim is ludicrous and anyone who promotes this line of thinking ought to be ashamed. I never want to hear the line “she isn’t pretty enough to be assaulted.”